A Week in Google: Voice Search on Google.com, a Bigger App Market than Apple & Winning Over Skype

3 minute read
Chelsi Nakano avatar

This week we wondered who would benefit most from acquiring Skype, and whether or not size matters in the app department. 

Will Facebook or Google Buy Skype After Talks?

Rumor has it a couple of giants are fighting over Skype. While we think Skype and Facebook would make a good couple, there's benefit in the pairing of Skype and Uncle G.

Google's range of business apps in Google Apps, for example, is an area that Skype would love to be doing better in as the majority of its users only ever use the free services. Google has also got Android, with which Skype sits quite nicely.

On the other hand, Google already has a chat and video service in Gmail, which appears to be doing fairly well.

Google Begins Testing Voice Search on Google.com

Speaking of Google Voice, the Internet giant started tinkering around with an integration of voice search in Google.com this week.

Voice search detects your computer’s microphone settings, opens a “Speak now” widget, and detects and transcribes your words into a search query.

Android users will be familiar with the feature. As a part of the Google Search widget, Google Voice Search on Android can translate voice commands into actions. For example, “Directions to the Golden Gate Bridge” will pull up instant driving/walking/public transportation directions to the San Francisco landmark via Google Maps, and "Note to self" generates a text field that translates any following comments into an e-mail that is then sent to your own account.

Learning Opportunities

Still, it's difficult to see this feature as much of a hit within the actual browser — after all, who really wants to shout out their queries?

Google's Android Market Set To Surpass Apple's App Store By August 2011

App store analytics company Distimo forecasted that Android would surpass the App Store in size before the end of July 2011.

But the question is: Does size matter? Most apps on either platform don't see that much action, so how relevant are the numbers, really?

In fact, not only does the Android Market’s high growth not translate to better revenues,  Germany-based research2guidance, posits that the opposite may be true:

On the contrary, the success of an app store is negatively correlated to the success of an average developer. All analysis on the early months of an app store including the Android Market shows that average download numbers decrease dramatically after the first months or even weeks after the launch of the store. The long tail gets longer and longer while the top 5% gets richer and richer.

Still, Android Market’s growth is worth noting.